Reviews: Reading List March 2017

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I read two of the books on March 2017 reading list. In case you missed the March 2017 Reading List, check it out here.

Zen to Done by Leo Babauta

I purchased this book and read it on my phone.  I highlighted quite a few things that were helpful and also things that gave me new perspectives.  Leo writes that the Getting Things Done concepts don’t focus enough on the doing aspect, but rather on the capturing and processing stages.  One of my favorite things Leo talks about is focusing on simplifying your to-do list, including responsibilities and commitments, so you are able to focus on the things that are important.  Another key concept is to empty your mind by writing down your thoughts immediately so that you don’t forget.  There is a crucial step that gets overlooked when we do brain dumps; we don’t process them.  In other words, you have to stay on top of the information that you capture by making decisions to schedule it, delegate it, delete it, or keep it as reference information.  Basically, we are to make quick decisions about our inboxes (including incoming information into our brain) in order to keep items processed.

I love how Leo encourages planning your day “because otherwise you are too much at the mercy of the winds of change, reacting to what comes your way instead of deciding what’s important and what you really want to accomplish.”

Zen to Done focuses on collecting your thoughts, processing information, planning your day, and doing things.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Yet another fantastic read!  I checked this book out at my local library, but, after reading it, decided to purchase the hard copy.  Richard talks about how we all get into habits of the ways we choose to react to life.  He says, “We overreact, blow things out of proportion, hold on too tightly, and focus on the negative aspects of life.”

This book is broken down into 100 short chapters.  There are so many wonderful, eye-opening things to learn and apply from this book.  Here are some quick things to note.

1- It takes less energy to be kind.

2- Try to eliminate the need to fix it.

4- This was a fantastic chapter!  Richard talks about our mindset.  We need to be aware of how our thoughts build momentum and affect our thinking.  Be mindful of not allowing our thoughts to snowball.

6- Life is not all about getting all of your tasks completed.  You will always have a to- list.

10- Bring your attention to the present moments.

11- When we meet and talk to people, think about what that person is meant to teach you.

36- “For many people, one of the most frustrating aspects of life is not being able to understand other people’s behavior.”  I’m sure you can relate to that, right?  Richard says that it can seem like people are making us miserable because we focus on their behavior.

62- Do one thing at a time – concentrate on what you’re doing.

85- “True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice patience, and to learn.”  Re-read that.  One more time.  How fantastic is that statement?

89- You don’t have to catch the ball simply because someone throws it to you.  Ponder that for a moment.  You (and I) make a choice of whether we are going to jump on board of someone’s problem.

Crunch Time

I encourage you to grab one of these books (or both of them).  Personally, I gained more from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, but you will also find new insight in Zen to Done.

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